"So, Anka," Nami twiddled her fingers, "Why exactly don't you date?" Nami straightened her posture as she turned toward her best friend. "I mean, you have so much wisdom dealing with relationships and I don't think you've had a single boyfriend..." she mused.
Anka glanced at her friend briefly and sighed, "Never once had a good experience," She began counting off on her fingers, "Perverts, Cheap Dates, Conceited bastards, Control freaks, guys who can't keep their hands to themselves, Sex Addicts who don't even give me a chance to go on a date before they're ready for sex-" here she made a face, "Blind dates- don't ever do that to me-, those guys that like to split the bill after a horrible evening, I can't stand dating friends, it just makes everything awkward..., and lets not forget the stalkers." She shuddered and drew in her first deep breath in the past minute.
"Impressive. That was all in one breath," Nami replied. "Gonna go into details?"
"Well... I suppose if you really want me too, be ready for a long story..." Anka replied, sitting on the edge of Nami's bed and swinging her feet underneath of her.
"Alright, from the beginning," Nami said quickly. "What was your first date?"
"Mmm... I'd have to say the first one was about three years ago when my great Aunt Josephine came to visit..." Anka began, her gaze going slightly distant as she dipped into the memory.
"Please tell me this is a normal convo," Nagi said as he slammed Nami's door shut, locking it afterward.
"You're walking in to hear the beginning of a story," Nami replied. "What happened?" Nami asked.
"Long story, parents are weird," Nagi huffed as he fell backward onto the bed.
"As you were," Nami said to Anka.
"At first I was actually going to come hide away at your place, Nami, wish I had, actually... The house was freshly scrubbed and Aunt Josephine... Ugh, she was just as bubbly and a busybody as always... This time though she dragged a boy near my age along with her, his name was Tommy..."
Anka glanced up from her bed as the basement door burst open, "Where's my precious niece?~" A peppy, feminine voice called from the top of the stairs before footsteps creaked down- she was instantly alert as a second pair hesitantly followed the first.
"A-Aunt Josephine." She leaped up from her bed tossing her book down on the mussed comforter as the older woman appeared from around the corner.
"There you are!" Josephine crowed, "I'd like to introduce you to Tommy." She placed her hands on a nervous boy's shoulders.
"Uh...hello?" Anka said coyly. "Aunt Josephine....I thought you wouldn't be here until tomorrow."
"Oh, I took an earlier flight," she said dismissively. "Couldn't wait to see my wittle Anka," she squeezed Anka's cheek.
"Riiight..." Anka sighed. "Well, I was working on a book report. Got a lot of homework to do with my group," she gathered her books and pencils into her book bag.
"Take Tommy with you. He's never been to such a rural area before and the scenery around here is enchanting!" Josephine insisted.
"I..." Anka started.
"Miss Josephine..." Tommy muttered under his breath, "I could stay..."
"Nonsense!" Josephine cried, "Anka, show him around town-" She rummaged in her pockets and produced a wad of bills, shoving them into Tommy's hand, "Go to a movie, get something to eat too... Have fun, kids." She ushered the pair up the stairs and out the door.
Anka scuffed her feet as she hopped onto the sidewalk before the movie theater. She turned around to face Tommy, "What do you want to see?" she was clearly uncomfortable and bored.
"I don't care," Tommy shrugged, plunging his hands into his pockets.
"Good, have fun. I have a book report to do," she announced.
"Anka!" Chloe cried as she tackled Anka to the ground. "Hi!"
"Hi, Chloe..." Anka cringed as she sat up, dusting herself off.
"Wanna work on our book report? I'm having trouble with mine, and..." Chloe turned to Tommy who was watching them intently. "Can we help you?" Chloe demanded.
"I'm with her," Tommy pointed to Anka.
Anka raked her fingers down her face as she watched Chloe's expression change. "Ohhhh... Oh my goodness!" Chloe squealed, "I'm so proud of you, you're on a date!"
Anka blushed, "I-it's not like that..." She spluttered awkwardly.
Tommy ran his fingers through his mussed hair, keeping quiet for the moment.
"And he's yummy..." Chloe licked her lips. "Here's a condom," she said, slipping a condom into Anka's hand, "So make out with him and thank me later if it goes even further..." Chloe winked.
"Mmmmmnnnggg..." Anka grumbled as she watched Chloe leave, still checking out Tommy. Why out of all of my friends did it have to be Chloe? she asked as she glared up at the sky.
"What was she saying?" Tommy asked, pocketing his hands.
"N-nothing." Anka shook her head, "Don't worry about it..."
"So... movie?" Tommy asked after an awkward moment of silence.
"Fine," Anka agreed.
"Good so far," Tommy muttered.
"Sure," Anka shrugged. She hadn't really been watching it, she was mostly eating her snacks. She smacked Tommy's hand away from hers. It wasn't a date to her, nor would she ever actually date a guy like him.
"What's wrong?" Tommy asked.
"Nothing," Anka said as she grabbed a handful of popcorn, stuffing it into her mouth. This way we can't eat anything later for an after dinner "date"... she thought as she scarfed down the snacks.
Tommy frowned, glancing over at her as she smacked his hand away again, "Are you sure?" He asked uncertainly, leaning towards her, feigning a reach for popcorn.
"Fine," She turned away, his hand missing the bucket by an inch and continuing onward, resting lightly against her thigh for a brief moment before he jerked it back as though he'd been burned.
"S-sorry..." He muttered quickly, folding his hands in his lap.
Anka stomped out of the theater after the movie finished. She tossed the empty containers into the garbage as she passed, walking a few feet ahead of Tommy.
"Are you mad at me?" he asked as he caught up to her.
Anka froze when she watched Nami and Nagi walking back toward them. "Great..." she sighed.
"Hey, Anka," Nami said softly. "Would talk but we're late for the movie!" she said as she and Nagi ran toward the last theater room.
"Yeah, see you later!" Nagi agreed as he juggled a few snacks.
They didn't know we're together...? Anka blinked. "Huh, wonder what they're going to see..."
"We still have plenty of money to stop for something to eat or go to the mall if you aren't hungry..." Tommy managed, biting back his frustration.
"Mm." Anka replied distractedly, then, "What?"
"Dinner?" Tommy asked, "Or... mall?"
"Er..." Anka cringed inwardly, "How about the mall?"
Tommy sighed, "Okay...that works... I wanted to see if anything was on sale anyway..."
Anka looked him over for the first time, realizing that they most definitely wouldn't be setting foot into her favorite stores, Ugh... could this get any worse? She wondered.
"Hey, sexy," Lucas groped Anka's ass and kissed her cheek.
"Lucas!" Anka growled.
"Wanna hit the mall?" Lucas asked as he wrapped his arm around her.
"Just heading there," she sighed.
"Good, because I need to buy another book. I lost my copy of White Fang," he admitted.
"Uh, she's on a date with me," Tommy said, clearing his throat afterward.
Lucas turned around and laughed. "Anka doesn't date."
"Uh... Lucas... I'd appreciate a little space." Anka replied, "You can come with us, but not... clinging to me."
"Aw, that's no fun." Lucas muttered.
"Can we just go by ourselves?" Tommy pleaded of Anka, grabbing her hand and glaring at Lucas.
Anka yanked her hand back, stomping away from both of them. Gawd...why me? she growled as she walked up the street.
"Hey, you forgot me," Tommy said as he caught up with her.
"No, I didn't," Anka replied.
"And me," Lucas wrapped his arm around her. "I'll give you fifty bucks to do my homework," he said quickly.
"Done," Anka held out her hand, taking the fifty dollar bill. "White Fang?"
"Yup," Lucas said simply.
"What do you want to do at the mall?" Tommy asked, grabbing Anka's hand again.
If somebody doesn't kill them I swear I'm going to... Anka thought, "Bookstore would be nice." She said aloud.
"Boring." Tommy muttered, glaring at Lucas, he'd ruined any possible chance of making up with Anka...
"Well, I love to read and I just earned $50... so I want to pick up a few things." Anka replied, making a face.
"I like books..." Lucas offered.
"The Kama Sutra and likewise do NOT count." Anka ground out.
"Well... damn." Lucas scratched his head awkwardly.
"What's that?" Tommy asked.
"They teach you the most amazing things about sex, sexual positions and sexual energies," Lucas replied.
"Uh..." Tommy pulled Anka close, "And you're friends with him, why?"
"He's never boring," Anka replied, pulling away from him.
"But he's so...." Tommy was at a loss for words.
"Don't judge what you don't know." Anka warned as she lead the way into the mall, allowing her feet to lead her directly to the book store.
Tommy clung to her side, "I don't much care for books..." He muttered.
"Better get used to it if you plan to stick around." Lucas replied cheerily, lifting a book and pressing it into Tommy's hand, "A start."
Anka stepped away from the pair as she followed the indexes to find the books she was interested in. Lucas dashed away from Tommy, hiding in the back of the store.
Tommy glanced down at the book "Sex Positions to be Enjoyed for all Ages". "What the hell is this?" he asked.
The worker took the book from him, "Get out before I call security! You have to be eighteen to read adult books!" the man led Tommy out of the store by his wrist.
Anka glared over at Lucas who was whistling. "What?"
"You look like you need a smile," Lucas said with a sheepish grin.
"So you brought be a comic?" Anka guessed.
"No, better," Lucas replied. "That weirdo was kicked out of the store for illegally taking porn."
"Huh?" Anka poked her head around the bookshelf. She chuckled, "You did that?"
Lucas grinned a wide grin.
"Well, I'll just take my time looking through these books then." Anka replied, setting her stack down on one of the shelves so that she could slowly leaf through the crisp pages.
"I'll get White Fang." Lucas replied, racing around the shelves for the book, he returned a moment later with a copy and leaned against the shelves, "Anything interesting there?"
"Oh, plenty." Anka replied softly as she glanced through the pages, "Nothing you'd be interested in though."
"When does the school make us read books with sex?" Lucas sighed as he settled against the shelf.
"Ninth grade," Anka replied as she read the back of another book, placing it in the yes pile.
"Cool...boobies..." Lucas snickered.
Anka glanced over at him, sighing when she found him reading a belly dancing book. "You are creative."
"I appreciate culture and history," Lucas said simply.
"Nobody's around," Anka assured him.
"Shiny boobies," Lucas snickered.
A short while later Anka added up her totals and nodded to herself, "Time to go, Lucas... Guess we've made Tommy wait long enough on his own." She grimaced.
"Do we have to go?" Lucas whined.
"Yes..." Anka sighed, placing her books on the counter, "You don't have to, but I, at least, do..."
"Alright," Lucas said as he placed White Fang and a Belly Dance Uniform book. "What else do I get to interrupt?"
"Whatever you want," Anka rolled her eyes as she accepted her bagged books.
"Well, I waited long enough. The mall's about to close," Tommy said indignantly.
"Awe..." Anka rolled her eyes, "Guess we gotta go home."
"Sounds fun," Lucas said with a grin.
Anka slipped her hand in her pocket, txting Lulu: Can I stay in your dad's hotel?
"That's what happened?" Lulu whistled, "Wow, I had no idea."
Anka blinked, "Lu...? When did you get here?" She managed to cover her surprise.
"And how? I locked the door..." Nagi blinked.
Lulu held up a giant key ring, dangling it, "I got here around the part Lucas was looking at fashion and you thought he was being perverted."
"Uh..." Nami blinked, "Why do you have a key to my room?"
"I have a key to everybody's house, room and car," Lulu shrugged nonchalantly.
"That's creepy," Nagi said dryly.
"No, Lucas having them would be creepy," Lulu countered. "So, what happened next?"
"I've had three other blind dates, not going to go into detail." Anka replied, "Skylar- that was two months later and due to you, Lulu. Cody a year ago... My aunt again, and Brandon about 8 months ago, that was a big mess courtesy of Chloe..." She cleared her throat, "Anyway, there was the summer carnival the year after the ordeal with Tommy... I went out with Bobby... Cheapest date of my life." She made a face.
"I don't know if I can do this..." Anka muttered under her breath, straightening a few wrinkles out of the black blouse that she wore, Bobby had asked her to meet him here the day before at school.
"Hey!~ Anka!" Bobby called, waving her over to the admissions tent, he quickly paid for his tickets and turned expectently to her.
"Uhm, hi," Anka muttered nervously.
"You gonna get your tickets so we can get moving?" Bobby prodded.
Wow... She thought bitterly as she reached into her bag and pulled out a few crinkled bills for her tickets.
She followed behind him, "So, what do you want to do first?" she asked.
"I'm gonna get on the Ferris wheel," Bobby replied. "Come on," he ushered Anka onward. She sighed as she settled in front of him in her seat, "I'm afraid of heights..." she clenched her fists.
"Don't be a wimp..." Bobby replied evenly.
Anka gulped and closed her eyes as they started to move upwards, struggling not to hyperventilate. "Wow, look at that!" Bobby rocked the car as he leaned forward and Anka let out an eep of shock, clinging to his arm, "Ow, hey, let go!" Bobby howled, shaking her grip loose and rocking their car further.
After the five minutes of hell, Anka scrambled out of the car before the car even hit the ground. She collapsed hyperventilating, being stepped over by Bobby. "Come on, let's play some games," he suggested.
"Games...on the ground...good..." Anka managed as a worker helped her to her feet. She managed to find the area with the games and Bobby throwing baseballs at pyramids of bottles. "What are you trying to win?" she asked, having managed to catch her breath.
"That teddy bear with the scarf," Bobby replied before pitching a ball.
"He's cute," Anka cheered up.
"Yeah, that's why I'm gonna get him," Bobby agreed. Bobby pointed up to the scarfed teddy bear, taking it and slipping it under his arm. "What other games are there?"
Anka frowned as she watched him walk away from her, "Gotta make the best of it. It's a carnival after all..." She approached the lucky duck pond, handing over a ticket. She picked up two ducks that matched, winning a small horse key chain. "See? Lucky..." she smiled.
"Here, I want to try the darts..." Bobby called, racing ahead to the next game, he won another stuffed animal and continued on, both prizes under his arms.
"Eesh..." Anka huffed, jogging to keep up with him, "Wait up, Bobby!" She called. She sighed when she caught up to him, watching him dash immediately to the next game.
After about an hour they headed to the food court. Anka stood behind Bobby, smiling when she heard him order two of everything. "Thanks," she said shyly.
"You're welcome," Bobby replied. "I know how cool I make you feel just being here," he said as he took the food over to a table. She quickly followed him, grabbing a piece of funnel cake. "What are you doing?"
"What? I'm hungry," Anka blinked.
"Well, you've got money," Bobby said as he greedily pulled his food away from Anka.
Anka rose and went to the counter, frowning in frustration as she ordered a few things to stop the growling of her belly, This is just awful... She thought as she turned to go back to the table. Her jaw dropped when she saw a pretty blonde sitting next to Bobby, eating some of his fries, laughing and talking.
"Um, hi?" Anka muttered as she approached the table.
"You mind?" Bobby asked, "Ashly and I were talking..."
"Thanks for making me feel so cool," Anka said sarcastically as gripped her cup tightly.
"Anka!" Nagi shouted excitedly as he approached her. "Why do you only have that? Dude, we can get like ten funnel cakes and see who gets sick first," he said as he approached the counter.
Anka turned around and followed Nagi, "What are you doing here?" she asked.
"Well, my parents are weirding me out and Layla said that I can do whatever I want," he shrugged, "So I'm here to enjoy the greatness of summer carnivals. You?"
"Supposed to be a date..." Anka grumbled. "Can I eat some funnel cake?" she asked.
"Help yourself," Nagi said, pushing the first of his order toward her. "I've got like fifty bucks just for food."
Anka grabbed a few pieces, licking the powdered sugar from her fingers happily. "I haven't eaten in hours..."
Nagi took a sip of his drink, "Where's your date?"
"Talking to another girl," Anka muttered.
"Come again?" Nagi set his beverage down.
"He's talking to that preppy girl and he made me pay for everything even though he asked me out, and he was just so awful..." she whimpered.
"Those clothes look expensive," Nagi remarked as he took a piece of funnel cake.
"I'm...confused..." Anka replied.
Nagi took the lid off his drink, "Another lemon aid, please," he said as he left the counter, approaching Bobby.
Bobby glared up at Nagi, "Can I help you?"
"Yeah, you can," Nagi said as he sat beside Bobby. "I bet you think you're a hot shot guy because you've got expensive clothes and charm."
"Well, I am. Any girl will date me," Bobby replied smugly.
"Yeah, but Anka isn't just any girl," Nagi said coolly. "See, she's my sister, and well, I'd do anything for her."
"So I'm one to make my sister happy," Nagi shrugged, he tossed his drink on Bobby, "And that'll at least make her laugh," he said as he stood.
"Hey, you!" Bobby stood quickly, wiping the drink off his face. "You're going to pay for this!"
"And you're gonna make like a little bitch boy, sucker punch me and claim you kicked my ass," Nagi rolled his eyes. He pressed down on Bobby's wrist, dropping him to the ground. "I'm a black belt in karate," Nagi knelt down and patted Bobby's cheek. "So pick your battles more wisely," he muttered before standing.
"Nagi?" Anka blinked.
"Yeah?" he asked as he approached Anka who was fighting back laughter.
"That was awesome! You didn't even take a swing to ground him!" she grinned.
"After we eat..bouncing pit..." Nagi said as he grabbed the rest of his order.
"Kay..." she agreed, following him to a table.
"That was awesome..." Anka grinned.
"I remember that jerk," Nagi agreed. "Pressure points..." he said as he rubbed his wrist.
"Oh! What next?" Lulu asked, bouncing up and down. "I love story time!"
"Me too," Connor agreed. "Keep going."
"When did you get here?" Nami asked.
"A few minutes ago," Connor shrugged. "Your mom let me in."
"I need a bigger room if we add one person per conversation..." Nami muttered.
"There would be the erm... pity date with Lucas." Anka managed, "What a mistake, it was that same winter, we went to the ice skating rink..."
Anka shivered as she looked up at the large building before her, people were streaming inside, laughing and cheering. She had a brief flashback of waiting for Bobby earlier that year and shuddered, preparing to turn and flee.
She actually did and ran smack into Lucas' chest. "Wow, anxious to see me?" He joked, dragging her into a bear hug.
"N-no, just was wondering when you'd get here," she replied, cautiously patting his back.
"Well, let's get inside," he said as he lead her inside, paying immediately for both of them. "Size nine," he said as he handed one of his shoes to the worker, "Anka, what shoe size are you?" he asked.
"Seven and a half," she replied, following Lucas' example and setting her left shoe on the counter.
"Have you ever done this before?" he asked eagerly as he accepted his and her skates from the worker, handing hers to her.
Anka accepted the skates, "No, first time ice skating," she replied.
He took the locker key and continued into the locker room. "Put your shoe in here," he said motioning to the locker, "And relax. This is really fun."
Anka placed her remaining shoe in the locker, "Don't you need balance and grace to ice skate?"
"Nope," Lucas said as he sat down, slipping his skates on, "Just practice."
"So you've done this before?" she sighed in relief when he nodded. "Because I'm a bit nervous..."
"Don't be. And if you get cold we can switch back to our socks and warm up with hot cocoa," he assured her.
Okay, maybe this wasn't such a horrible idea... she thought as she fastened her skates.
They stepped onto the ice, Lucas surprisingly graceful as he glided forward and turned, skating backwards as he watched her move gingerly, her legs wobbling and uncertain. He slid back to her side and wrapped an arm around her waist, "Don't..." He said when she went to push him away, "This'll be easier than going on your own the first time... Don't pick your feet up, just slide them, it helps with the balance..."
Anka nodded slowly, concentrating on her movements. He's surprisingly- the thought cut off as his hand slid down her waist. "Dammit Lucas!" She shoved him and collapsed to the ice, shivering as she did so.
"It's a compliment!" Lucas insisted, grinning boyishly. "I mean, come on...look at you..." he licked his lips as he looked her up and down.
Anka covered herself, despite knowing that the jacket she wore was bulky and distorted her chest, "You're such a pervert..." she grumbled as she started to slide forward. She glared over her shoulder at him, crashing into a wall and falling to the ground.
"Anka!" Lucas called with concern as he glided toward her. "Are you okay?" he asked as he came to a stop, crouching down beside her.
"Erm...I think so..." she answered as she responded as she sat upright. She used the guiding rail to pull herself up. She rubbed her lower back, "Just a bit bruis-" she turned around to smack Lucas for his wondering hand. "Lucas!"
"What? I thought it was an open invitation..." he whimpered, making a pouting face.
"No! Bad, Lucas!" Anka chided him with her free hand. "Friends, nothing more..."
"Not a chance?" Lucas asked softly.
"I don't know," she sighed as she let go of the rail, relieved when she remained balanced.
"Here," Lucas looped his arm with hers and started skating forward.
"What are you doing?" Anka asked nervously.
"Helping you," he said lightheartedly.
Anka blinked and allowed him to aid her in mastering the skates, her wobbly steps soon became more balanced, and shortly she was moving ahead of Lucas and out of his wandering grasp.
"See, you're getting it," Lucas grinned, as much to her dismay, he had been skating for years and could easily outmatch her skill and technique. He skated in front of her, still going faster than her as he faced her.
"Show off," Anka rolled her eyes.
"I am not," Lucas argued, tripping and reaching for Anka to keep his balance. The pair landed in an awkward, and much to Lucas' liking, very sexual position. Lucas ran his hand up Anka's thigh, "I'll keep you warm.." he whispered, grinning perversely.
"Ugh, let go you pervert!" Anka seethed, slapping him as she struggled to her feet and speed skated away from him.
"Come back!" Lucas called, scrambling to his feet and racing after her.
Anka spun quickly to face him, nearly losing her balance in the process as she allowed herself to drift backwards, "I'm going to limit our close proximity if you keep acting so perverted." She said, her tone clipped.
"So no sex?" Lucas frowned.
"What? No!" Anka snapped. "Why would you assume I'd sleep with you!"
"You sleep with Nagi! Lulu said so!" Lucas replied.
"Plutonically! Not that way!" Anka growled indignantly.
"Oh. Damn." Lucas frowned. "I'm sorry. Let's get something to drink and start over."
"What? You're changing your tune?" Anka skated toward Lucas.
"Sure," he shrugged. "Normal perviness," Lucas grinned sliding his arm around Anka's waist.
"What's normal?" Anka questioned.
Lucas leaned down to her chest, sniffing loudly. "Mmmmm!" he purred.
Anka made a disgusted sound and turned away, "I'm done, I think it's time to go."
"Awww, no!" Lucas gripped her arm as she skated towards the exit.
"I'm cold, bruised, and tired of your touchie feelie crap." Anka replied, draggling him along behind her.
"So you did give him a pity date," Chloe nodded. She was sitting on Connor's lap, looking thoughtfully at Anka. "That had to be a short date."
"Okay, when did you get here?" Nami asked.
"I don't know, not wearing a watch," Chloe shrugged.
"Next story," Lulu pleaded.
"Yeah, story time!" Connor agreed.
"Okay, okay." Anka sighed. "Well, there was one guy, Nate...from a different school..." she started.
She climbed into Nate's truck. "I'm really glad you asked me out. I needed some time out," Anka offered, trying to stimulate the conversation.
"What do you think of a little nature walk?" Nate asked, lowering his sunglasses.
"Uh, sounds fun," Anka said nervously. She shook the thought out of her head...Nagi and her struggling....
After a while, Nate pulled over, hopping out of the truck and walking toward the back. Anka shrugged, following. Not the worst date idea... she thought.
"Climb on up..." Nate said as he lowered the tailgate.
"Oh...kay?" Anka slipped into the truck's bed, staring curiously at Nate who tossed his shirt off and immediately had his pants off, naked crawling toward her. "What the fuck?" Anka demanded, backing away from him.
"Put out or get out," he said simply as he started running his hand under her skirt.
Anka slapped his hand away, "Stay away from me!" she growled. He reached for her again, and she grabbed his wrist, Please work... she pleaded, pressing down on Nate's wrist. She sighed in relief when he collapsed in pain, slipping away and running back away from Nate the way they came.
"Come on, Anka, don't be like this!" Nate called as he tugged his pants back on, reached into the truck and grabbed a flashlight, "I thought we were going to have fun!"
Anka gritted her teeth, ignoring him angrily as she weaved into the treeline to avoid the swaying beam of his flashlight. Bastard... She thought vehemently as she tugged her cell phone out and quickly dialed Nami's number. "Come on, pick up..." She muttered under her breath.
"Boo." Nate appeared in front of her, shining the brilliant beam of his flashlight in her eyes, effectively blinding her as he pressed his body against hers, pinning her to the tree she'd taken shelter near. "Lets play." He smirked.
"Get away!" Anka shoved against him, slamming her foot down on his and swinging her knee into his crotch when he bent over in pain.
"B-bitch!" He grabbed for her arm and missed as she ran, phone pressed to her ear as it continued to ring.
"Lulu?" Anka asked happily as she heard a crackled greeting. "Oh, thank you, thank you..." she sighed happily, still weaving through different trees, trying to lose her pursuer. "What?" she moved her phone into her line of sight. "Call lost...damn it!"
Anka dialed Nami's number again, damning cell phone towers everywhere as a call was lost immediately afterward. After a long while running, she found herself on a flat stretch of land where her cellphone managed to get a half of a bar of service.
Relieved, she dialed Nami's number again. "Lulu! Please..." Anka started.
"Doll, why are you so winded?" Lulu asked, "And why are you breaking up?"
"Damn..." Anka growled, only hearing every few words herself.
"Anka?" Lulu's voice broke through fuzzily again as Anka scrambled to get a better signal.
After a few minutes and finally sitting precariously on a small branch a dozen feet above the ground Anka made it to two bars, "Lu, can you hear me?" She held her breath after speaking as the line crackled in silence for a long moment.
"About time, all that crackling and garbled talk was really starting to get annoying!" Lulu chirped, "Mind telling me what's up?"
"I'm in trouble." Anka whispered as a flashlight beam swung in a slow arc near her tree.
"Anka, come on out... I know you didn't mean to hurt me.~" Nate called out.
"What's wrong?" Lulu asked, her tone suddenly serious.
"Why are you on my phone?" Nami questioned as she entered her bedroom, drying her hair.
Lulu hushed Nami with a hand motion as she listened carefully to what was being said on the other end of the phone call. Nami shifted her gaze to Nagi who was leaning toward the phone in silence to listen too. He shrugged at Nami, since he too was clueless.
Anka let out a breath when Nate wandered further away from her, his flashlight leading the way. She whispered as audible as she could, "I need you guys...I'm in the woods and outrunning a-" she stopped when the call was dropped again.
"The call dropped..." Lulu muttered, closing Nami's phone.
"What happened?" Nami asked.
"She sounded frantic and she said she needs us," Lulu uttered.
"Where is she?" Nami asked, reaching for her shoes.
"In the woods." Lulu drew in a breath.
"Where in the woods?"Nagi pressed.
"I don't know." Lulu shook her head after a moment, tossing Nami her phone and reaching for her own, "I'll have daddy get a search party together though... We'll find her."
"Ugh..." Anka rubbed her head and looked around woozily. It was dark and she was surrounded by trees, it took her a moment to realize at a thick branch was digging into her back on the hard ground.
Rising to her feet she remembered that she was in the woods, that her date was looking for her... Touching the side of her head again she winced as she remembered also that the branch had fallen when she'd lost service again and shifted on the branch, squinting at her moist fingers she realized that she was bleeding as well. "This is just great..." She muttered, drawing her thin jacket tighter about her shoulders as she looked around, heart thudding in her chest.
Her phone lay a few feet away and Anka quickly stumbled towards it. The screen nearly blinded her with the sudden brilliance of its light when she pressed the call button, a bar of battery... Somehow she had to make sense of her location, and she had to let her friends know at least the guy's name. If something happened... At least they'd have that. Her fingers blurred over the keyboard and after several long minutes she hit send and held her breath as the signal faltered several times.
"Well, where do we start?" Nami asked, starting down the road, away from the safe point.
"I don't know. We're here at the only bit of woods near a road..." Lulu murmured looking around.
After a few moments they came across an abandoned truck. "I think we hit gold," Nagi muttered, turning toward a tree near the guard rail.
"What in the world would Anka be doing all the way out here with a stranger?" Nami muttered.
"How do you know she was with a stranger?" Lulu asked.
"I've never seen this vehicle before." Nami replied with a shrug, "it doesn't make sense."
"It makes perfect sense." Lulu replied, "Private stretch of road where nobody will bother you... Our boy was looking to get laid."
"Sh." Nagi muttered, he'd faintly heard something a second before and strained his ears to catch the sound again.
Nagi frowned when he saw a boy around their age stumble from the woods. "Uh, hi..." Nate muttered.
Nobody said anything to the strange boy, watching him as he started toward the driver side door. Nagi clenched his fists as he followed behind Nate who was fumbling around in his pockets for his keys. "Why are you alone in the woods?" Nagi asked slyly.
"I was taking a leak. Got a problem with it?" Nate got defensive.
Nami and Lulu simultaneously opened their cell phones. A message came through from Anka that read: Nate. "Hey, sexy," Lulu called, ruffling her hair as she approached him. Nate turned to her, his eyes falling right on her chest. "You're pretty hot...what's your name?" she asked airily.
Gotta love Lulu's charm... Nami thought.
"Name's Nate." He leaned against the door to his truck and pocketed his hands casually as Lulu approached him.
Nagi and Nami moved quietly around the other side of the truck as Lulu ran her fingers along his arms. "I'm Lulu, you do kink?"
"I'll do anything for you baby." Nate drooled, he didn't even notice the handcuff that Lulu snapped on his wrist and through the window to attach to his steering wheel.
"Good, then you wouldn't mind explaining to us what happened to our friend." Nagi muttered, coming around the front of the truck.
"W-what?" Nate looked around at them, tugging on the handcuffs.
"Struggle all you want, those babies are made of titanium," Lulu crossed her arms over her chest.
"So, back on topic," Nami cleared her throat. "Where's Anka?"
"Cool name, but don't know her," Nate said, shifting his eyes to the right.
"Well, first off, my mother's a psychiatrist," Nagi paced in front of Nate, "And you're lying."
"Don't forget that Anka wears a size seven and this is a size seven and this track is from her Blahnik I had custom made for Christmas for her," Lulu said pointing to a shoe track.
"Wha?!" Nate turned to face Lulu.
"She's an expert," Nami said with a smirk.
"So, where were we?" Nagi asked, stroking his chin.
"Letting me go before I call the police?" Nate muttered, cringing when Lulu smacked him upside the head.
"Brilliant idea, and when we explain to them that our friend was out here with you whose side do you think they're going to take?" Lulu huffed, "Now if you would kindly stop being a dick we may be willing to let you go after."
Nate struggled futiley against the cuff and rolled his eyes in irritation, "Little miss goodie goodie hit me and ran off, I tried to find her, she doesn't want to be found, so I'm going home." He said in a clipped tone at last.
"How long ago did Anka run off?" Nami inquired. She glared into Nate's eyes, stamping on his foot when he didn't answer.
"Ow! Damn! I don't know!" Nate cringed trying to turn away from the pain.
Nagi took a step backwards onto the road. "G-guys..." he stammered. His index finger was shifting through the shady looking trees' canopies. "We've been here before..." he uttered.
"Huh? Why are you so pale?" Lulu asked, turning her attention to Nagi.
Nagi shook his head, "We've been here before..." he glanced around in disbelief, taking another frightened step away from the forest.
"I don't get it..." Lulu muttered.
"Nagi, sweetie, what do you mean we've been here before?" Nami pressed, grasping his hand.
"Anka and me," he muttered beneath his breath.
"Does he mean...?" Lulu and Nami met one another's gaze. They exchanged looks of horror before turning back to Nagi. "These are the same woods..." Lulu sighed, kicking herself for not noticing sooner.
"Nagi, it's okay. We're gonna find Anka and we'll all go back home," Nami whispered, caressing his hand with her thumb.
"Anka..." he muttered before dashing off into the woods.
"Nagi?" Nami questioned him.
"Great..." Lulu rolled her eyes. "One moment he's petrified and the next he's blindly running into the place that scarred him for life..."
"What's with him?" Nate demanded. "Freak."
Lulu slapped Nate as hard as she could, "Don't talk about any of my friends like that!" she scorned him. Her gaze softening as she turned back to Nami, "What do you say I call Maria and you run in after him?"
"Are you sure?" Nami asked hesitantly.
"Go," Lulu said as she pulled her cellphone from her deep purse.
"Can't you at least get this cuff off me?" Nate demanded.
"No, you're going to stick around until we know Anka's okay." Lulu replied, a moment later her tone changed, "Maria! Glad you answered, having a hell of a night..."
"Nng..." Anka muttered blearily as she stumbled upon a clearing. It took her eyes a moment to focus, but when she saw the small, dilapidated shack that sat there her body went numb, the cell phone she clutched in her hand clattered uselessly to the ground, "No..." She managed weakly, rooted to the spot.
Ten minutes later Maria arrived at the sight of the truck. "Lulu, you sounded rather frantic on the phone," she remarked as she approached.
"Nagi ran blindly into the woods after Anka, Nami's following Nagi," Lulu said in one breath before Maria planted her hands comfortingly on Lulu's shoulders.
"Breathe and calm down," Maria said slowly.
Lulu nodded once, releasing a deep breath and then focusing her thought pattern. "Okay, these woods are where Nagi and Anka were kept captive by that psycho," Lulu muttered.
Maria turned toward the shady looking trees, frowning. "Oh no..."
"Yeah and Nagi was petrified one second and braving them the next," Lulu shrugged. "I don't know what got into him."
"What was Anka doing around here in the first pl-" Maria stopped when she noticed the handcuffs, "Why is this boy handcuffed?"
"Well, don't know why she was here aside from him giving her a ride and he tried getting himself a ride," Lulu said scornfully.
"Another one that can't keep it in his pants?" Maria asked, shaking her head and crossing her arms over her chest.
"Apparently," Lulu agreed.
"Nagi, we're gonna fall if you're not careful!" Nami called, miraculously keeping up with Nagi as he continued forward. The mud gave out beneath their feet as they ran the course of the muddy path, small bits of it rolling down the side of the cliff.
"We've gotta find Anka!" Nagi called back, still running as if he were following a paper trail.
"Nagi, wait," Nami huffed, leaning against a tree. Nagi stopped immediately turning to Nami. "I'll see if she's in service range," she suggested as she pulled her cellphone from her pocket. Nami dialed Anka's number to no avail once and immediately hit send again. The crackling of the phone ringing gave a glimpse of hope. Nami leaned out a little, putting her phone on speaker and hoping to stop some of the interference.
"Nami, no!" Nagi grabbed Nami's wrist as the mud gave out from beneath her, safely pulling her to the solid ground. "Damn it!"
"What?" Nami gasped. "You kept me from falling..."
"Why wasn't it that simple before?"
"What?" Nami pressed, trying to piece together Nagi's seemingly random thought patterns.
"Anka tripped and fell first," Nagi started, "And I could have reacted and stopped the whole thing."
"You would have if you could have," Nami assured him. "But we have to find Anka, now."
"I have a feeling I know where she is," Nagi said as he started forward.
Nami followed behind Nagi as they followed the winding trail that lead them on for what seemed to be hours. "What's that sound?" She asked at last, pausing and tilting her head to better catch it.
Anka couldn't bring herself to move. Everything seemed so unperturbed from the day she and Nagi escaped. The mud pits still surrounded the shack like an isolated marsh. His axe was still there, on the ground. "How did I get here?" she asked, her eyes brimming with tears.
She drew in several shallow breaths to calm herself, to try and reign in the terror that knotted itself in her belly. Doing so pushed forward the consuming hatred and anger she'd kept to herself for so long. Taking several shaky steps towards the axe she hefted it's weight into her arms and turned to the abandoned shack. "This place shouldn't exist, not anymore..." She muttered under her breath, swinging the heavy, rusted axe into the walls over and over again, her mind focused wholly on destroying the small building, somewhere inside she hoped it would destroy the memories that went with it.
"It sounds like pounding," Nagi muttered. He grabbed Nami's hand and continued down the path leading her gently behind him.
"Anka!" Nami exclaimed when they broke into the clearing, it was obvious what the pounding sound was now as she carefully rushed across the marshy ground to her friend's side.
Anka froze, the blade of the axe buried in the mauled wall as she turned to face Nami, her heart leaping into her throat, "Y-you're both here..." She stuttered.
"So, aren't the strappy sandals the cutest thing?" Lulu chirped.
"Shut up! I can't take shoe talk anymore!" Nate screamed in agony, struggling harder and harder against the handcuffs.
"I love anything with a heel," Maria agreed.
"Yeah, we're here for you," Nagi sighed in relief when he watched Anka and Nami embrace.
"W-where's Nate?" Anka asked nervously.
"Lulu's torturing him," Nagi assured her. "He's handcuffed to the steering wheel of his truck."
"Probably going on and on about shoes until he wants to kill himself," Nami added, squeezing Anka more tightly.
Nagi approached the shack, staring curiously at it. "Want to finish the job?" he asked, pulling a box of matches from his pocket.
"Yeah..." Anka nodded, swiping the tears from her eyes, "Will it burn very well?"
"The wood's ancient and it's been relatively dry for the past week." Nagi replied, "It should go up pretty well. The mud will help keep the fire from spreading."
"So let's get rid of this eye sore." Nami replied, stepping back a few steps to glare at the shack.
Nagi nodded and struck a match, easing to his knees he held it to the broken wood and waited. It took nearly twenty minutes for the fire to catch and become a blazing inferno, Nagi, Nami, and Anka stood back safely, holding hands, and watched the twisted building creak and burn.
"Wow, are you serious?" Drake asked, leaning against the wall near Nami's door.
"When did you get here?" Nami demanded.
"Somewhere around the time that Nate dude was trying to cop a feel." Drake shrugged.
"What's next?" Lulu asked.
"Well, there was Lewis," Anka replied. "He was conceited..."
"Hate those guys," Chloe rolled her eyes.
"Because they're just like you," Connor said dryly.
"Hey!" Chloe growled.
"Children, it's story time!" Lulu snapped.
"Well, we were in an antique shop...weird first date, yes," Anka sighed.
Lewis hurried them into the shop, Anka tripping over her two feet as Lewis continued running as fast as he could. "You'll love this!" Lewis promised. He stopped them in front of a large floor mirror. "Look at this!"
"A mirror with a wooden frame," Lewis said with a grin. He pulled a comb from his pocket and began running it through his hair.
"You look fine," Anka assured him.
"Better than fine," Lewis said as he leaned forward.
"Oh! Look at this!" Anka declared as she caught sight of a large old trunk with carvings of mythological creatures, she tugged it open and smiled as she ran her fingers over the neat, smooth surface of the silver lining, "This is gorgeous!"
"What?" Lewis turned to her, losing interest as soon as he saw the trunk, "Oh... That's nothing. It's old, and dusty, and I can't see my reflection in it."
Anka glared at him briefly, "How can you put down such artistry?" She asked.
"That's not artistry." Lewis shook his head and swept his arms along his figure, "This is... From my sexy core to my silky hair and well chiseled features..." He sighed dreamily as he turned his attention back to the mirror.
"Get over yourself," Anka said cattily.
"Excuse me? How could anybody get over me? Look at this!" he said dreamily, not taking his eyes off of the mirror.
"I've seen wild dogs cuter than you," Anka said coldly as she stormed out of the store.
"That was a short date," Nagi remarked.
"Yeah, and I was a better boyfriend than that," Lucas added. He was on the floor, facing the bed, staring up Lulu's skirt.
Lulu kneed his as hard as she could "Don't count on it."
"So, go on..." Drake encouraged Anka. "Any other dates?"
"There was our date," Anka said with a smirk.
Drake sank against the wall, "Well, uh..." his cheeks reddened, "That wasn't exactly a date you see."
"Wow, really?" Connor asked.
"Yeah, we went horse back riding at his dad's place," Anka replied.
"You seem really embarrassed," Nagi said to Drake who was now facing away from the others.
"Oh, you have got to tell this one!" Nami urged Anka.
"Fully intend on it." Anka nodded, drawing in a breath as she began the tale.
"There you are, Anka, wasn't sure if you planned to show..." Drake smiled as he came out of the barn.
"I have to admit I've never ridden a horse, but I've been plenty curious on it." Anka managed with a smile, tugging briefly at the hem of her shirt.
"Well... er, why don't we saddle up, then?" Drake asked, "I'll show you how its done..."
After cleaning the pair of horses and securing the saddles Drake led both horses outside while Anka trailed out behind him. He led her over to a mounting block and held one of the horses there, "Using the block is one of the easiest ways to mount the horse..." He managed, helping her into the saddle and quickly adjusting the straps to fit her height, "How's that?" He asked.
"A bit different." Anka said after a moment, glancing down at him, "What now?"
Drake heaved himself into the other horse's saddle and handed her her reigns, "Gently apply pressure to the horse's side and use this to steer him." He said, blushing when her hand brushed his as she grabbed the reigns from him.
"Alright." Anka nodded as the pair of them began their ride slowly.
"Whoa! Horseback riding? That's kind of romantic," Nami cut in.
"Very original, Drake," Nagi agreed.
"Shh! She's not done yet," Lulu hissed. "We can embarrass Drake later!"
Anka laughed, "Well, that's how we spent the afternoon. Onto the night," she said as leading them back into the tale.
"You're a fast learner," Drake muttered.
"Drake, learner isn't a word," Anka said flatly.
He blushed, "Um you're smarter at that stuff than me..."
"It's been a pretty cool day, I'm glad you invited me out." Anka replied as they allowed the horses to pad along the faint trail in the early evening dusk.
Drake scratched his cheek and took a deep breath, "I'm glad you came." He said as they entered a clearing, in the center was a thick blanket and a covered basket. A few lanterns sat on either side of the blanket as well.
"What's this?" Anka asked in surprise.
"I-I thought dinner would be appropriate after a long day of riding." Drake managed, sliding off of his horse and helping Anka do the same before he tied the pair to a nearby tree.
"Thanks, but," Anka scratched her cheek, "We could have gone in to eat. You didn't have to do this."
"It's a beautiful night, stargazing isn't interrupted by the city streets," Drake shrugged, spreading the blanket on the cool evening ground. He sat down immediately, patting a spot beside him. "Sit down," he said softly, pulling a cookie from the basket.
"Oh! What kind of cookies?" Anka asked as she settled, adjusting her skirt so she was still sitting appropriately.
"These ones are chocolate chip," Drake explained, "And there's some fruit, some sandwiches, flavored water and some yogurt..."
"Wow, you thought of everything," Anka admitted, grabbing one of the fruit flavored waters. She took a swig of water and pointed to the sky, seemingly tracing a constellation, "The dippers..."
"And Orion," Drake added.
"You're right, this is nice." Anka murmured as she picked up an apple and began to eat it slowly.
"I'm glad you think so." Drake sighed in relief as he grabbed a water and chugge the contents of the bottle.
He reached for a sandwich and ate it slowly as he watched Anka stargaze. "I can't remember the last time I just sat out and looked at the stars." Anka said as she tossed the core towards the horses, hers grabbed it immediately and crunched it happily.
"I stargaze all summer here," Drake said quickly.
"Wow, so this feels like nothing then, right? I mean we sit out on Nami's deck but that's obscured and I'm sure this gets old after a while..."
"No," Drake replied. "It's still relaxing..."
Anka laid backwards, tucking her arms behind her head. "So, what's gotten into you?"
"M-me? What do you mean?"
"You're not very talkative," she remarked. "And you and I usually talk about anything and everything."
"Well, we have known each other for a long time," Drake replied.
"Yeah, that's why we're so comfortable around each other," Anka agreed, glancing over at him. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine... I just... I like you Anka." Drake muttered.
"I like you too." Anka smiled, glancing at him briefly.
"I'm glad." Drake sounded happier, he grasped her hand and leaned in to kiss her. Anka blinked in confusion as Drake kissed her softly. "Wow..."
"Uh...Drake?" Anka slowly started.
"Yeah?" he asked dreamily.
"You mean like-like, don't you?"
"Yeah, why?" he frowned.
"I'm sorry," Anka sighed, covering her face with her hands. "I don't like you like that..."
"Oh...damn...sorry," he said quickly.
"Uh, it's okay..." Anka insisted.
"Oh man, no wonder you were so bummed last year." Parle clapped Drake on the back, "I gotta hand it to you though, man, kissing Anka..."
"What the hell?" Anka muttered, shaking her head, "How do people keep showing up without being noticed? I'm not trying to entertain everyone you know..."
I'm not too sure, but I guess our friends are all ninjas," Lulu shrugged.
If Drake and Anka as friends...didn't...work into boyfriend and girlfriend...Nagi felt his heart fall to his feet as he fell forward to the floor. "Nagi!" Nami called grabbing him by his shirt before he fell.
"What the hell, Nagi?" Anka grunted as she pulled him onto the bed, too.
"Is he okay?" Drake asked, approaching him.
"Nagi? I can get you some water..." Lulu offered.
"We can open a window if it's too hot," Chloe said quickly.
"Or we can help you outside," Connor added.
"Come on, what's wrong?" Nami asked.
"Talk to us, Nagi..." Anka pleaded.
Nagi blinked a few times. "Uh, can I get some room?" Nagi pleaded, closing his eyes to avoid staring at his friends who were all looming over him.
"Oh, sure. Forget about me!" Lucas whimpered.
"Sh! Nagi's talking," Lulu hissed.
"What the hell?" Lucas demanded.
"Uh, why don't you tell another story?" Nagi suggested, patting Anka's arm.
"Fainting isn't something to just brush off," Drake muttered.
"Was it just a panic attack?" Chloe asked.
"We ignore you because you deserved it," Nami whispered.
"See? Was it that hard to tell me that?" Lucas asked.
"Shut up! Anka's starting!" Parle hissed as he wiggled his way onto the edge of the bed.
"Okay, this guy's name was Todd...and we were on a date at the beach," Anka started.
"Hey, Todd!" Anka called, jogging over the hot sand in her bare feet to stand before a taller, sandy-haired boy, "Beautiful day for the beach, isn't it?" She grinned.
His gaze roved along her body, from her toes, up over her legs and thighs and rested on the curve of her breasts. Nervously Anka crossed her arms, mildly embarrassed at his close scrutiny of her in her bikini, "Beautiful indeed." He muttered, a smirk curling over his lips, "Need help with your sunblock?" His tone was hopeful.
"Erm..." Actually Anka did, but she shook her head anyway, they way Todd looked at her made her nervous, "Do you want to take a dip?" She asked after an awkward moment of silence.
"Mm, would I ever." Todd muttered, practically drooling.
Anka rushed into the water first loving the crisp cold waves as they washed over her feet, more and more of her body as she waded deeper into the deep blue water. Okay, he checked me out...no problem...Nagi checks Nami out all the time...it's natural... she thought as she began treading water.
Todd grinned as he joined her. "Gotta love the cold water on a hot day," he said calmly as he floated on his back.
"Yeah it's refreshing!" Anka said enthusiastically. She turned pale when she felt her bikini top loosen. She grabbed it before it could fall revealing anything. "Todd! What the hell?!" she demanded.
"What? I was just playing..." Todd said with a shrug and a smirk.
"Don't do that! Jeez!" she hissed, tying her top in a double knot, having learned better.
"Come on, don't be like that." Todd said, his gaze moving over the beach and locking on each of the girls hungrily.
"This is a public place." Anka blushed furiously, "It's not something that appeals to me."
"Are you saying that if we were alone you wouldn't mind?" Todd licked his lips, "I gotta say I'd love to cop a feel, you have beautiful breasts..."
"Ugh..." Anka rolled her eyes and swam a few feet away from him.
"I can play like that," Todd smirked, swimming toward Anka, wrapping his arms around her.
"Let me go!" Anka hissed as she tried to free herself from his grip.
Todd slid his hand under her bikini top, stopping when several girls swam by. "Ohh!" he moaned, watching them absentmindedly.
"Did you just stop feeling me up to watch them?" Anka asked in disbelief. She elbowed Todd's stomach, swimming toward the beach in disgust.
"Mmmm...feisty..." Todd moaned, swimming after Anka.
What have I done to deserve this? Anka thought desperately as she slipped out of the water.
"Ouch, that's gotta really suck." Tristan muttered.
"I sort of wish I'd let him help me with the sunblock though..." Anka sighed.
"Ew, why?" Nami blinked.
"The sunburn was atrocious." Anka shrugged.
"Okay, and when'd you get here?" Nami asked.
"Oh, I've been here. Todd sounds like Lucas if Lucas were more immature," Tristan offered.
"Why don't we here people coming in anymore?" Lulu asked.
"We're ninjas," Tristan offered.
"Story time!" Connor said excitedly.
"Okay, fine. Adam. Control freak," Anka made a face. "I mean what the hell? We were at my Aunt Josaphine's wedding for God's sake..."
Anka glared down at the hot pink dress that was decorated with yellow polkadots. "How did I get into this?" she demanded of herself as she walked into the church.
"Anka?" a young brunette boy asked.
"I'm Adam. We're walking down the aisle together," he said politely. "Take my hand and we can get into place with the rest of the party."
"And then can I get out of this outfit?" Anka asked dryly.
"No, no. You have to look perfect until after the wedding photos," Adam keenly reminded her.
"Damn, I forgot about that," Anka admitted, suddenly getting nervous when the music started and the pair before them took a long stride forward.
"Anka?" Adam prodded, holding out his arm.
"R-right." Anka took his arm, biting back a complaint when he drew her closer to him and forced their slow start down the aisle.
The wedding was a slow, grueling process and Anka was getting tired of Adam and his gentle 'proddings' as to how to behave and what they were going to do next.
She sat, bored. They had just finished the pictures for all involved in the wedding, the bridal party, the groomsmen and everybody together. Some sappy love song was being played in the background by the DJ.
Anka folded her arms on the table before her, resting her chin there. "Elbows off the table, it's not ladylike!" Adam scorned her. Anka growled loudly, making certain he could hear her. "Hey, they're throwing the bouquet. Get up there so I can look up your skirt."
"W-what?" Anka asked, more curious.
Adam held up the garter belt, smirking. "So, tell me a little about what's under there," he said, starting his hand up the skirt of her dress.
"Oh my God, what the hell?" she demanded, shoving his hand back at him. "Don't touch me! How do you like that for order giving you fucking control freak?!" she shouted before storming out of the building.
"You poor thing." Chloe sympathized.
"No wonder you really don't want to date anymore," Nami shook her head, "I had no idea that so many guys could be such pigs... No offense to anyone present... except Lucas."
"Hey!" Lucas protested.
"You're a pervert, so you count for that." Lulu smacked him, "Now shut up."
"There was one other experience..." Anka shuddered, "It was pretty bad. the date was okay, but everything after... Ugh, I can't believe I even gave that boy Dave a chance."
"Why does that name ring a bell?" Nagi asked flatly.
"You may or may not have gave him a piece of your mind," Anka said slowly.
"What you met this guy before?" Drake asked Nagi.
"Wouldn't say that," Nagi replied.
"Well, what happened?" Parle asked.
"Okay, we went to one of those semi-expensive restaurants," Anka started.
Dave handed a credit card to the waiter casually. "You were saying?" he said politely to Anka.
"Oh, right," Anka sighed, "And then I found my pet ferret that day."
"I like ferrets. They're such cool little critters," Dave admitted.
"Yeah, Yaryck loves chocolate," Anka offered.
"So," Dave stood, slipping his coat on and pulling Anka's chair out for her, "Could we do this again sometime?"
"I don't want to break your wallet," Anka replied.
"Okay, next time we can hang out at the mall or see a movie..." Daven named a few more places as they walked to the car.
"We can decide later, but you have my cellphone number," Anka replied.
"That seemed fairly normal," Tristan remarked.
"It gets worse," Anka informed them. "He and I ended up catching a movie. I was just going to meet Nami, Nagi and Lulu for lunch at the mall afterward..."
"So, thanks for meeting me on such short notice," Dave said with a smile.
"No problem. I'd been wanting to get out of the house again," Anka replied. "Well, I'm meeting some friends for lunch, so I'll call you," Anka promised.
"Okay, see ya," Dave watched Anka walk toward the mall for a few moments. His at ease facial expression changed when he saw Nagi approaching Anka.
"Hey," Nagi called to Anka who turned around and waited for him. "I thought you'd already be with Nami."
"Ditto," Anka teased him as she looped arms with Nagi.
"Is it just Lulu and Nami?" Nagi asked.
"I don't know. Nami just messaged me a bit ago asking me to meet her," Anka shrugged.
"Hey, sit down and relax," Lulu said soothingly. "Lunch is on me today," she said, pulling a fifty from her purse. "So get whatever you want."
"Alrighty, where's Nami?" Nagi asked.
Lulu pointed to the Chinese restaurant's mall booth. "Naturally. And I have my garden salad sub," she hummed happily before taking another bite of it.
A few minutes later the other three returned to the table, Nagi with two Sbarro's pizzas and Anka and Nami with Asian food. "I wanted to talk to you guys about doing something this summer," Nami admitted.
"Like what?" Anka asked.
"Amusement parks and whatnot..." Nami shrugged.
"The usual," Nagi nodded before taking a bite.
"Why do you always get their pizza?" Anka asked.
Nagi handed her his slice of pizza, "See for yourself."
Anka took a bite, handing it back to Nagi. "I approve," she nodded.
Dave stood in the shadows, glaring daggers at Nagi. "I can't believe she's cheating on me already!" he pounded his fist against the wall he was hiding behind.
"He was watching us eat?" Lulu made a face.
"Yeah, he saw me and Nagi share food and assumed we were fooling around or whatever," Anka rolled her eyes.
"Yeah, doesn't he know how gross dating your sister is?" Nami asked.
"Apparently not," Nagi replied.
"Shh! Back to the story!" Connor hushed everybody else before they cound interrupt with their questions.
Anka grabbed for her phone as soon as she got into her room later that night, "Hello?" She called distractedly into the reciever, hearing only the sound of ragged breathing on the other line, "Hello?" She called again, frowning when she recieved no answer.
Figuring it to be a prank she hung up and quickly changed into her pajamas, her phone jingled a light, playful tune indicating a text. Frowning she flipped open the phone and stared wide-eyed at the angled photo of her changing, "What the hell?!" She gaped, her gaze snapping to the few windows that looked down upon her, her skin prickled uneasily as she quickly covered the windows and sat on her bed.
She gave a small eep of surprise when her phone rang again, this time Dave's number appeared and she answered immediately, "Dave! Hey, how's it going?" She asked.
"Not so good, Anka." Dave said flatly, "Can we meet somewhere for lunch tomorrow?"
"Sure." Anka replied.
"How about the mall food court around 12:30?" Dave asked.
"That's fine, I'll see you then." Anka managed a smile, her worry starting to fade a bit.
The next day, promptly at noon Anka arrived at the food court. She sat at one of the tables, still a little uneasy about the happenings of the night before. After a little over 20 minutes, Dave arrived, joining her. "Hey, you sounded a bit uneasy on the phone," Anka said softly.
"Anybody'd be uneasy when they're being cheated on," Dave replied.
"Cheated on?" Anka repeated, not understanding what he met.
"You with that guy yesterday..."
"Oh! Nagi," Anka slapped her forehead, "Nagi's my brother. Well, not really my blood brother but he's close enough to be my brother."
"You're saying that guy's like a brother to you?" Dave asked.
"Yeah. He's way to hung up on his crush to even think about anything else," Anka explained.
"And we never said we were official," Anka added as an afterthought.
"Well," Dave straightened his posture, "I'd like to be official."
Anka slumped in her seat. "Glad that's cleared up..." she sighed in relief.
"How about some Chinese?" Dave asked after a moment.
"Sounds great..." Anka replied, frowning.
"Great, I'll order." Dave replied, rushing from the table.
Anka stood and followed him, he'd already ordered and the food was being prepared, watching Anka became a little more uneasy, "How do you know what I'd like from here?" She asked of Dave softly.
"Ah.... A feeling!" Dave managed, realizing that he'd slipped up and could very well have given away the fact that he'd been watching Anka the previous day.
"Well... Good guess I guess." Anka muttered as they made their way back to the table and began to eat in silence.
The next day, Anka sat on her bed, her nose buried in a novel. When her phone rang she instantly picked it up, "Hello?"
"I'm bored and my mother is planning my wedding..." Nagi grumbled into the phone.
Anka bust out into fits of giggles, "At least it's to a girl you like?" she offered between breaths.
"Nami'll save you," she teased.
"I don't want Nami to know anything of this!" Nagi pleaded.
"Okay, but you're going where I want to go," Anka said firmly.
"I'll do anything!"
"I'll be at your place in ten minutes," Anka said before shutting her phone.
Nagi glared at her when she took him to a bridal and prom gown store. "You really like to torture me in my parents' absence, don't you?"
"Actually, I was assigned by my yearbook class to go to prom this year as a photographer and I need a dress," Anka said with a smirk.
Nagi hung his head, his cheeks reddened. "Fine..." Anka laughed and dragged him into the store by his arm.
Dave peeked around the corner, satisfying his own curiosity when he watched Anka dragging her so-called brother into a bridal store. "I knew it!" he growled. "I told her not to hang out with him and there she goes, cheating on me yet again!"
"I like this one." Anka said at last, glancing once more at her reflection to be sure. She wore a long black dress with a corset bodice that criss-crossed crimson ribbon in the back to tie it.
"It's nice." Nagi admitted, "So, who are you taking as your date?"
"I was thinking of asking Dave if he wanted to go." Anka replied as she slipped back into the changing room and changed back into her street clothes, she took the dress to the clerk and paid for the dress. "Are you going to ask Nami?"
"Er... well..." Nagi blushed.
"Come on... you guys can't abandon me at prom alone!" Anka pleaded, clinging to his arm with the dress draped over her shoulder as they left the store.
"Alright, I'll go." Nagi chuckled, ruffling her hair.
Nearby Dave scowled, his hands curled into fists at his side, "Anka's mine... I won't let anyone interfere with us being together..." He muttered darkly to himself.
"Wanna go to Nami's?" Nagi suggested.
"Only if you're asking her to prom," Anka said slyly.
"I told you I'll go," Nagi said flatly.
"You never told me you'd ask Nami," Anka said pointedly.
"I will, but I can't guarantee you she'll say yes," Nagi said quickly.
"I can," Anka said in singsong.
"I'll cover my ears while you call her and tell her to say yes," Nagi said dryly.
"Not doing that," Anka said in singsong again.
"Because that's not how true love works," Anka batted her eyelashes.
"You, dear sister, are cruel," Nagi muttered.
After ensuring that Nagi and Nami would be going to prom with her Anka settled into her bed and dialed Dave's number, she left a message when he didn't reply and went to the window, she'd forgotten about the picture she'd recieved until that moment and still it made her uneasy that someone had been spying on her in her own home...
Shuddering she drew out her phone and dialed. "Hello?" Nami called into the reciever, "What's up, Anka?"
"Nothing really... I'm just a bit creeped out." Anka admitted, "Wanted to talk to somebody."
"What about?" Nami asked nonchalantly.
"I got a picture message the other night..."
"Did Lulu start the chain fetish porn messages again?" Nami sighed, exasperated by the thought.
"No...compared to this...I wish that was the worst of it..."
"Well what is it?" Nami showed more concern now.
"It was taken right outside my window..."
"Maybe it was a prank?" Nami suggested.
"If one of my friends' numbers came up I might agree. But I also got an anonymous call...somebody just breathing into the phone..."
"You sound really spooked," Nami muttered. "Do you want to come over?"
"Yeah... I'd really like to." Anka replied, throwing some things into her bag and grabbing Yaryck.
"I'll see you in a few?"
"Would you mind staying on the phone with me until I get there?" Anka asked as she slipped out the basement door, locking it behind her.
"Of course." Nami replied soothingly.
Anka walked into Nami's room, pulling the phone from her ear when the sound of a picture message beeped in her ear. She stared down at the picture that was taken from behind her as she walked into Nami's frond door. "Hey, you hungry?" Nami asked as she glanced up at Anka, holding out a bag of popcorn.
Anka stared down at her own cellphone number in horror, "No..." she shook her head. "But how?" she demanded.
"What's wrong?" Nami asked as she sat up.
"Another prank thing," Anka said dismissively, swallowing hard. "This time I somehow got it from my number..."
"What?" Nami inquired.
"It's nothing..." Anka insisted as she sat beside Nami, grabbing a handful of popcorn.
"You're not acting like it's nothing," Nami commented. "Damn it..."
"What?" Anka gasped.
"I used a double negative." Nami stared over at her cellphone. "But, how did you send it to yourself?"
"Don't know, but it's my number," she replied.
Nami grabbed her cellphone, dialing a number quickly. "Hey, Lu. How do you call yourself?"
"Like voicemail?" Lulu inquired.
"No, like Anka just somehow sent a message to herself but she didn't send it," Nami answered.
"A prank calling website," Lulu replied. "Put in a number to call and the number you want it to be and there you have it."
"Ah, prank calling website," Nami relayed to Anka who was still staring down at the picture of herself. "Thanks Lu," Nami said before hanging up.
"So... its safe to assume that I might never figure out who is sending these messages to me?" Anka asked, shuddering as she glanced briefly at the window, the hairs on the back of her neck standing on end.
"We'll find out." Nami said reassuringly, pulling her frightened friend into a tight hug and catching a real look at the photo that had been sent to Anka for the first time, "The hell..." She said as she realized it was a picture of Anka walking into the house.
"Creepy, right?" Anka whispered.
"Very..." Nami frowned.
"Well, I could use some rest," Anka sighed.
"Me too. I agreed to meet Nagi tomorrow for lunch at the mall..."
"Are you going to get up early enough for lunch?" Anka teased, trying to get the unpleasant incident out of her mind for even a moment.
Nami blushed, "It's Nagi. My body is programmed to wake up to see him."
"But shaking you frantically during a tornado doesn't wake you?"
"My body has alarm priorities," Nami shrugged before collapsing backwards. "You coming tomorrow, too?"
"Might as well. I don't have plans or anything," she replied as she joined Nami.
Nami and Anka started into the food court earlier than they had anticipated. "We beat the morning boy here," Nami realized.
"Surprising," Anka commented before answering her phone.
"Get my message?"
"What? Who is this?" Anka gasped in horror.
"I saw you cheating on me. Don't lie to me," Dave said darkly.
"Cheating on you? What are you talking about?" Anka asked, "And what message?"
Nami glared at Anka's cellphone, holding her hand out, telepathically demanding to talk on it. Anka signed to Nami that she wasn't getting the phone. "Give it," Nami said firmly.
"You know what message. I'm always watching you so you can't lie to me," Dave assured her.
"Always watching me?"
"Oh quit playing stupid." Dave sneered, "Check your messages, bitch."
Frowning Anka briefly pulled the phone away from her ear, gaping as she opened three messages- the first was herself and Nagi coming out of the dress shop the other day, the second was the photo she'd gotten of herself changing, and the third was her entrance into the mall that very morning. "It was you?" She exclaimed, astounded, into the phone as she jerked it back to her ear; rage gradually replacing the bewilderment that she'd been feeling moments ago.
"I told you, I'm always watching you." Dave replied fiercely, "We're meant to be together... and so long as the others are standing in the way of that... As well as the fact that you'd rather go to that jerk Nagi... Well; lets just say that things aren't going to be too pleasant." His tone was cryptic.
"Anka..." Nami muttered, making a grab for the phone.
Anka ducked out of the way, clenching her teeth, "Listen here you... you creep! We're through. You're insane! Don't come near me ever again!"
"That's not going to happen. By the way... you shouldn't show your body off like that in those clothes. Go home and change." Before Anka could growl out a response the line went dead and she instantly whirled around, looking for Dave's familiar countenance.
"Anka, what happened?" Nami demanded.
"That bastard sent those pictures. He is stalking me..." Anka clenched her fists.
"Your new boyfriend?" Nami inquired.
"The one and same," Anka glanced around, still not able to find Dave in the crowds of teens that flooded the mall on the weekends. "Where is he?"
"Maybe he left," Nami suggested.
"Parking lot...that last picture was taken at the parking lot at the movie theater entrance," Anka said before running toward the entrance the pair had entered.
Nami chased closely behind Anka, stopping for breath when they were at the doors. "What picture?" Nami huffed.
"One he just sent me," Anka said as she pushed the door open, Nami following her, stepping outside. The pair froze when they saw Nagi rubbing his knuckles.
"You're not going to believe what happened," Nagi muttered.
"Why are you rubbing your knuckles?" Nami inquired as she stepped in front of Nagi.
"Some guy just ran at me, tried to punch me and ran off," Nagi replied. "First reaction was to punch back."
Anka exhaled sharply, glaring around at the people that loitered outside the theater. "It figures..."
"What does?" Nagi asked as he and the two girls headed out back into the main portion of the mall and into the food court.
After the trio ordered heaping portions of Chinese and had sat down to eat Anka finally spoke, "I'm pretty sure that was Dave..." Her tone was quiet and she picked at her chicken.
"The boyfriend?" Nagi quirked a brow questioningly.
"It seems pretty obvious that he's been stalking her, creepy phone calls and pictures included..." Nami replied as Anka slid her phone across the table.
"And he thinks I'm cheating on him with you," Anka said pointedly.
Nagi made a face, "But you're my sister..."
"He won't listen to logic," Anka shrugged.
Nagi stared down at the phone's images of Anka. "You can take the photos to the police you know."
"Not when it looks like I sent them to myself," Anka grumbled, sinking in her chair.
Nami plucked her chicken out of the rice with her chopsticks, "Total freak."
Nagi handed Anka her phone back, sending her a txt message: this was my attempt at a date with Nami.
Anka smiled, shaking her head. "Sorry."
"Don't be. Uh, he sounds not right in the head," Nagi said quickly.
"Not about that," Anka replied.
"Then why are you sorry?" Nami inquired.
"No reason. Uh, study group tonight, right?" Nagi blurted as he stabbed several pieces of chicken with his fork.
"Yeah, nobody said they can't make it," Nami answered.
"Good, be there tonight," Nagi replied.
"We're enjoying the basement, right?" Anka asked with a mildly amused smirk, "I can see about bringing some drinks and chips to munch on while we study..."
"Lulu's got that covered..." Nami made a face, "She's having our study group catered."
"Hopefully she leaves the strippers out this time." Nagi muttered between bites.
"Uh, that was one awkward English project," Anka said sheepishly.
"I was the only male there wearing clothes," Nagi reminded her.
"Oh, we remember," Nami whistled.
"Caterers are here, they are coming in with the snacks now," Lulu said as she walked down the basement steps.
"Thanks," Nami sighed, knowing that Lulu had overdone it yet again.
"Don't thank me. We need brain food," Lulu gave Nami's shoulder an affectionate squeeze.
"No strippers?" Nagi asked.
"No, they had a party already," Lulu frowned.
"There might be a supernatural guardian and I am now thanking it," Nagi said before sighing in relief.
"That looks delicious..." Anka drooled over the large selection of chocolate lava cake.
"Down, girl." Lulu chuckled, "Gotta wait for the others to get here."
"Where are they, anyway?" Anka blinked, looking around.
"Chloe said she was on her way, she's got Lucas and Tristan with her." Nami replied, flopping down into a worn bean-bag chair, "Parle should be here within a minute or two-"
"Hey all!~" Parle called cheerily as he wandered down the basement steps, a case of liquor in hand, "I figured after studying... Since it is a friday night, we could have some fun!"
"Nice thought, Parle," Anka said honestly, she needed something to help her ease her worries.
"We're going to get our research done and then lose it?" Nagi asked.
"Not with you sober," Lulu teased.
"Be nice," Nami cut in.
"We're always nice," Lulu said innocently.
"No, you and Nagi fight and we need to get this project done," Anka said firmly.
"If my 4.0 GPA slips I will hurt you both," Nami said with a smile.
"Duly noted," Parle saluted Nami.
"The smile makes it scary," Lulu frowned.
"Touch my ass again..." Chloe growled as she walked down the stairs.
"It's a compliment," Lucas insisted.
"No, it's a chauvinistic," Tristan argued.
"Glad to see everybody's normal," Anka noted.
"Yeah, me too," Parle agreed cheerfully.
The group dumped their books out and casually, after several minutes of banter, got down to the main point of their being at Nami's house- studying.
"We'll have to get together again sunday as a refresher for the midterms monday." Anka commented as she scribbled notes in a blank notebook.
"This stuff is starting to give me a headache..." Lucas complained, "Why don't I mix us some drinks to relax us?"
"Definitely not." Chloe said sternly, "Who knows what you'd put in them."
"Awe, come on..." Lucas whined.
"Man... how do you guys ace these classes?" Tristan muttered, flipping through his own notes, "Sometimes I just don't get it..." He sighed.
The basement door clicked shut almost too silently for the group to hear and soft footfalls began to descend into the room. "Was somebody else supposed to come?" Parle asked in surprise, glancing at the darkened stairwell.
"No," Nami responded.
The group watched anxiously, all of them unnerved by the new arrival. "Now, are we ready?" he asked as he stepped from the shadows into the light.
"Well, found the guy who swung at me," Nagi said dryly as he stood, cracking his finger's knuckles.
"Sit," Dave said firmly.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Anka demanded.
"You, shut it. I'm going to make it impossible for you to cheat on me again," Dave declared.
"Uh, we are through and I never cheated on you," Anka argued.
"Leave now," Nami said firmly, "And I won't press charges."
"Charges?" Dave cackled.
"Breaking and entering as well as trespassing and stalking are pretty serious offenses," Nami said evenly.
"What the hell's going on here?" Lulu asked as she glanced around among her group of friends.
"My ex..." Anka said dryly, rising from her seated position and hefting her book threateningly in the air, "Creep whose been stalking me the past few days."
"Shut up and drop the book." Dave withdrew a hand from beneath the box he'd lugged down the stairs, revealing a glock, "And I won't have to hurt anybody."
Anka's heart leapt to her throat and the blood drained from her face. Knees shaking she allowed the book to fall from her numbed fingers. "What the hell!" Tristan exclaimed, "What are you doing with that thing!?"
"I already said... I'm making sure that Anka can't cheat on me again." Dave replied coolly, dropping the box and kicking it towards the group, "Empty it, now." He said, waving the gun in their faces.
Nami's hand found Nagi's and she squeezed it reassuringly, her gaze never leaving the weapon in Dave's hand, "What's in the box?" She asked nervously.
"No more questions!" Dave fired a round into the air, causing everyone to jump in terror, realizing that the weapon was loaded.
Parle stumbled over to the box first and began ripping items out of the box- tiki statues, torches, bikinis and grass skirts, leis (sp), flower print shirts of varying colors as well as swimming trunks... About this time Tristan joined him, shakily pulling blow up decorations, lanterns, bags of sand and more paraphanelia from the box.
"How do you fit all that in there?" Lucas asked, swallowing shock as curiousity overcame him.
"Got it at the magic shop, its fairly useful." Dave shrugged as the floor was soon crowded with items, "Now set it all up, I want this basement to look like an island paradise!"
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Lulu ground out, "What are you trying to pull?"
"L-lu..." Anka muttered warningly, finding her voice as her legs gave out and she collapsed back into her seat.
"The wedding of my dreams." Dave sighed dreamily, "Anka will be mine forever..." His sharp gaze fell on the group as the box was finally emptied, "Clothes and phones in the box, now." He said sharply.
"I am not taking off my clothes!" Chloe said shrilly.
"Don't worry, princess... I don't want you naked. I want you in the pink bikini and one of the grass skirts." Dave replied with an amused smirk, "Nami, you'll be in the blue bikini, Lulu the red one... Nagi you've got the blue floral shirt and shorts, Lucas the red, Tristan the pink, and Parle... the purple. Anka... you'll be wearing the white one. Now get to it!" Dave snapped.
"Can we at least get some privacy?" Lulu asked.
"We'll all be gentlemen," Dave assured her. "We won't watch."
"Speak for yourself," Lucas rolled his eyes.
Dave pointed the gun at Lucas, "I said that we will all be gentlemen and the ladies are going to give us the same decency." Seeing no alternative the girls undressed quickly, dressing just as fast. "See?"
Nagi quickly ran his fingers over the keys on his cellphone as he began to change, praying that his text would go through and help would arrive sometime soon... He frowned as his clothes disappeared into the depths of the box once he'd changed.
"Alright, now that that's taken care of... set it up!" Dave called cheerily, "And then we can get to the point of this little gathering...
It took three hours for the frazzled group to dump the sand, set up the torches and lanterns, throw decorations along the walls, organize the tiki statues, and blow up the plastic trees and animals... "Something doesn't look right..." Dave frowned, glancing around, a few seconds later he slapped his forehead, "The water!"
"W-water?" Nami asked uncertainly.
"Oh come on..." Parle whimpered, "We're not gonna flood the basement, are we?"
Dave glared at him briefly before setting up a stereo and slipping a cd into the drive. Shortly the sound of waves crashing and faint hawaiian music faded into existance. "Line up in color-coordinated pairs." He snapped, "Parle, you're the ring bearer." He threw a small jewelry box at Parle who quickly caught it.
Drake jumped in surprise when his phone vibrated and a very loud song began blasting through the speaker. "What the hell?" he demanded. He pulled out the cellphone and began frantically shaking it. "Shut up! Shut up!"
After a few frustrated minutes he walked to Connor's house. He rapped on the door, holding up his cellphone, "What?" Connor demanded.
"I need help!" Drake passed the cellphone to Connor.
"I don't care. I was sleeping," Connor replied.
"But...but..." Drake whimpered.
"Figure it out for yourself, I'm tired!" Connor muttered, closing the door.
"Strange... the music's gone..." Drake said quizically, he took a moment to think on it and then shrugged, "Oh well, must've been a glitch or something." Whistling to himself he pocketed the phone, leaping in surprise when it beeped at him.
"And you are the Justice of the Peace," Dave glared at Nagi.
"I'm atheist," Nagi said firmly.
"And you're Anka's interest so this will make it that much more painful," Dave said with a grin.
"No, she's my sister," Nagi argued.
"Enough lies, you're not related!" Dave growled, "Nami, you're the maid of honor, Lulu... the flower girl." He thrust a basket of flower petals into her startled fingers. Chloe and Tristan... you're the bridesmaid and groomsman. Any questions?"
"Other than your sanity?" Anka gulped.
"Lets get on with it!" Dave grabbed Anka's arm roughly and pulled her behind the others, "Lets get a move on already! Nagi, stand near the stereo... Lulu and Parle, get a move on! Chloe, Tristan, and Nami... after them." Dave smirked, "This is perfect!"
The wedding started to commence, everybody doing as they were told to except Anka who refused to move. "I'm not doing this. It's not even legal."
Dave pulled the knife from out of nowhere, "Then I'll make you," he said as he pointed the knife at Nagi who stumbled backwards. "Stand up!"
"Stop it!" Nami shouted.
"Why should I?" Dave demanded.
"Nagi and Anka were both held at knife point by some psycho before you," Nami growled.
"I'm sure they deserved it, running off to do dirty things together." Dave laughed. Anka rose slowly on shaky knees as Dave held the knife to her throat, "There's a good girl. Now then... Take your place, Nagi, so we can begin." He quirked an eyebrow at the other male.
Turning stiffly Nagi made his way to the stereo and stood, swallowing hard as Dave forced the procession to start. Frowning Lulu began to throw the flowers to the ground, her steps slow and deliberate as she tried to come up with a way to get out of the situation.
Nami worried at her lip, glancing back constantly at her nearly paralyzed friend as Dave forced her to move slowly behind the others. The music faded and they moved in silence until at last the lot of them stood before Nagi, "Do it!" Dave glowered threateningly.
"Connor! It beeped!" Drake shouted.
Connor opened the door again, "If I help you, do you promise to shut up and leave me alone?"
Drake nodded, passing his phone to Connor. "Thanks."
Connor stared down at the phone, "Does Nagi screw around often?"
"No, man. He's a virgin," Drake replied.
"I mean pranking," Connor clarified.
"No, he messages me normally. No pranks, why?"
"Because he told you to send the police to Nami's house like a half hour ago," Connor muttered, "said they're being held captive."
"What?" Drake gasped.
"Man, this isn't good..." Connor shook his head and pulled out his own phone, dialing 911.
Drake began to pace nervously, "Oh god... why'd he text me of all people?" He muttered.
"Because we're the only two not in the study group and I never answer txts or calls," Connor answered.
"What if the police think this is a prank?" Drake wailed as the operator came on the line.
"I'd like to report an emergency situation that requires immediate police action." Connor muttered into the reciever, "Some of my friends got together for a study group tonight and are now being held captive in the basement. No... No, I don't know whose holding them captive... I recieved an emergency text from one of the group pleading for help.... Look... lady, just because I'm not physically in the room with them doesn't mean I'm gullible. They wouldn't prank like this... At the very least send an officer over to find out for me." Connor scowled as he listened to the woman on the other end of the line.
"We are...gathered here today..." Nagi swallowed hard as his eyes fell to the knife.
"Keep going," Dave said threateningly.
"For this...union..." Nagi gulped again.
"Holy union," Dave corrected him.
"Can't you see what you're doing to them?" Nami demanded curtly, cutting in, "Put the knife away..."
"That's not happening." Dave replied, "Continue, Nagi..."
"O-of this man and woman..." Nagi said slowly, closing his eyes and swallowing, he had no idea what he was doing and the words were coming to mind much slower than they should, "If any person can show just cause why they may not be joined together – let them speak now or forever hold their peace." He managed.
"Yeah, yeah... skip that and get to the good part." Dave said boredly.
"Oh, come on. Put the knife away and use the gun," Nami suggested. "Besides, Nagi knows karate and can easily knock the knife from your hand."
"You know karate?" Dave swallowed hard, contemplating the gun that he'd tucked into his waist band when he'd pulled the knife. Shaking his head, he shrugged, "I don't care. I've got the knife, and if you don't finish the ceremony I'll have to do the only other thing that'll keep Anka from cheating on me again." He pressed the blade more firmly to her neck in emphasis.
Anka released a small whimper of terror, quivering beneath his grasp. "Come on, this isn't right!" Parle exclaimed passionately, "Marriage is about love and devotion... and I gotta say, Anka doesn't seem like she's feeling either emotion."
"She'll remember how later. Right now I want the ceremony completed." Dave growled.
"Stop calling me a damn liar!" Connor demanded. "Look! I wouldn't be here if I were joking!"
"Maybe we should just go to the police station?" Drake suggested.
"They'll do the same thing," he said to Drake. "Geez, if it were a prank call don't you think I would have hung up when you said you don't believe me?" Connor reasoned.
"Somebody will have to believe us..." Drake muttered.
"Lady... patch me through to your superior. If you're not going to help... I don't want to speak with you. My friends are in danger and I'm not playing games. Either you get a team together to go rescue them... Or I'll do it. And should I die, that'll be on your head for not caring enough to save our lives!" Connor shouted into the phone.
"I wish I knew some crazy old army guy right about now..." Drake murmured.
"You watch too much A-Team," Connor growled as he hung up the phone. "Come on, my dad's a hunter."
"Right," Drake said as he followed Connor into the house.
"What kind of a pathetic guy has to force a girl to marry him?" Nami asked crossly.
"What was that?" Dave demanded.
"I asked what kind of a pathetic guy has to force a girl to marry him," Nami said firmly.
"I have no problem turning this knife on you," Dave said as he stepped away from Anka, approaching Nami and pressing the knife against her neck.
"Leave Nami alone!" Lucas growled.
"I will if she bites her tongue," Dave said as he stared into Nami's eyes.
"You're not even holding the knife right," Nami snorted.
"What is she doing?" Chloe asked.
Tristan shrugged, "I'm not sure..."
"Am I not?" Dave asked.
"No, pass it here and I'll show you," she said with a smirk.
"W-what do you consider the good part?" Nagi managed.
"The loving forever part," Dave answered as he pulled the knife away from Nami and took his place beside Anka again.
"Oh, this is just too cruel..." Chloe sobbed, clinging to Tristan.
"Its ridiculous..." Tristan muttered, "He won't get away with this..."
"What makes you think I haven't already gotten away with it?" Dave smirked.
"We're all witnesses." Nami muttered, "We'll go to the police."
"It won't matter, by then dear Anka and I will be long gone." Dave replied confidently.
With a sigh Nagi continued the ceremony, "Dave do you take Anka to be your wife? Do you promise to love, honor, and cherish her?"
"I do." Dave replied, wrapping his arm firmly about her scantily clad waist.
"And do you... Anka-" Nagi gave her an apologetic glance as he drew in a breath, wishing there was something he could do to save them, "take Dave to be your husband? Do you promise to love, honor, and cherish him?"
"Like he-" Anka's briefly brave words were cut off by the biting blade, a trickle of blood slid down her neck as she swallowed, "I-I mean... I do." She gulped, tears pricking at the corners of her eyes and drifting over her cheeks.
"Well, I'm under age and not a JP...so I can't say that part..." Nagi placed a thoughtful finger to his lip.
"What?" Dave demanded.
"Justice of the Peace license required to have power vested in the person in their state," Nami yawned, "and they have to be 18. Nagi is 16."
"What's your point?" Dave asked, humoring Nami.
"My other point is Anka is 15 and in the state you have to be 16 with parental consent unless previous emancipation was granted," Nami explained.
"So you broke the law to play house because even if you're 18, Anka isn't," Nami shrugged, "Oh, and, Nagi isn't allowed to skip the power vested part...it's required in all vows by law."
"Google it," Nami said simply.
"Just finish the damn ceremony! I don't care about legalities, Anka and I will know in our hearts that we're married!" Dave exclaimed, "However..." And he turned his gaze to Anka, "Should I find you impure, I'll have to punish you for cheating."
"I-impure?" Anka said questioningly.
"Not a virgin, love..." Lulu sighed, glaring at Dave, "As if any of us will let a creep like him sleep with you though..."
"This is ridiculous..." Dave whirled Anka around, "With the power vested in me, I pronounce us husband and wife." Quickly he puckered his lips and leaned down to kiss her.
Connor rushed down the stairs with a shotgun, pointing it at Dave, "Don't even think about it!"
"Yeah!" Drake added.
"Who are you?" Dave demanded.
"What the hell took you?" Nagi demanded. "I messaged you like an hour ago!"
"You called for help?" Dave asked.
"Uh, well I'm not so handy with cellphones," Drake said sheepishly as he held up the gun, pointing it at Dave.
"How are you not handy with cellphones?" Lucas asked.
"Yeah, even Lucas can use a cellphone!" Lulu pointed out.
"The cops are on their way," Connor assured the others.
"No they're not," Dave asserted.
"Okay, fine. They're not," Connor shrugged.
"FBI! Freeze!" an agent shouted before several of them rushed down the stairs.
"What the...?" Nagi blinked.
"My uncle owed me a favor," Connor said with a shrug, "Oh, and you were right. They're not the police. They're a little higher on the food chain..."
"I remember that..." Chloe sighed, "Horrible experience..." She shuddered, "Whatever happened to him, anyway?"
"He was sent to prison." Anka shrugged, "He's got quite a few years to go, and on top of that I've got a restraining order and all that fun stuff..." She blinked as Nagi's dad popped up in front of her, a solemn expression on his face.
He held out his hand and lifted hers to meet it, "For you." He said with feeling.
Anka blushed as he dropped several condoms into her hands, "Mr. Williams..." She said slowly.
"Don't worry, I have enough for everyone!" He chirrupped, going around the room and handing several to each person, "Better to have safe sex than no sex at all..."
"How long've you been here, dad?" Nagi asked in exasperation.
"Your mother and I came in with the first story." Rick said playfully, "We were hiding in the closet..."
"That's creepy..." Lulu muttered, rolling her eyes.
"Poor dear..." Tina slipped out of the closet and hugged Anka tightly, "Maybe we should get you together with our nephew... He's such a good boy..."
Anka groaned, "I thought the point of all of this was to discuss why I didn't date?" She muttered.
Nami cleared her throat, "So... what about the guy who splits the bill?" She asked curiously.
"Oh, God..." Anka sighed, "That was Zackary..."
"Zackary, spelled Z-a-c-k-a-r-y," Anka rolled her eyes.
Zackary held the door curtly for Anka. The pair were very dressed up as they entered the 5 start French restaurant. "Reservation for two under Denobair," he said to the hostess who checked the books.
"Oh, we've been expecting you," she smiled brightly. "Right this way."
Anka clutched her bag to her side, nervous as she followed Zackary and the hostess to their table, "Wow... this is amazing." She said in awe as he helped her into her seat.
He sat across from her and immediately ordered several different types of appetizers, "I'm glad you decided to join me tonight, Anka." He smiled politely.
"I'm glad you invited me." Anka said nervously, setting her bag on the floor beside her as she glanced through the menu, "This all looks simply fabulous..." She marvalled.
"Oh, it is..." he assured her. "Order whatever you like."
Anka nodded, keeping her eyes on the cheaper dinners, attempting to be as modest as possible. "What are you ordering?"
"I am ordering a well done steak for dinner with a Caesar salad on the side," he replied. "You?"
"I may order a soup...kind of chilly," she said nervously.
"If you insist," he shrugged, "but you're missing out."
"Maybe the french cuisine?" Anka murmured thoughtfully. When the waitress came back around the duo placed their orders and then sat back chatting nonchallantly as they waited for the food to arrive.
"Don't be afraid to really let loose and eat." Zackary said, sipping at his drink, "This is a night for us to enjoy ourselves." He grinned, "And I really want a good dessert when we're done too."
"Sounds fantastic." Anka managed a smile.
"Fromage..." Zackary said as he stared down at the menu. "Maybe I'll order a plate..."
"So, what do you want to do go to college for?" Anka asked.
"I'll go for something," Zackary replied, "But I have a trust fund."
"R-really?" Anka stared at him in disbelief.
"Definitely, there is no way I'm working for a day in my life," he rolled his eyes.
"You?" he asked, curtly.
"I want to go to college," Anka replied, "Not sure what I want to major in yet."
"Me either," Zackary agreed, "But we have all of high school and two years of college before we have to decide."
"Very true," she conceded as their orders arrived.
Anka gaped as Zackary tore through his dishes, storing the food who knew where as he devoured it in much the same sense as Nagi typically did. After a few minutes she got ahold of her senses and dug in to her own dish, relishing in the rich, foreign flavors that danced over her tastebuds. "Oh wow, this is fantastic!" She crooned as, at last, she leaned back in her seat with a content sigh.
"Of course the food is fantastic." Zackary said, amused, as he called the waitress over and placed an order for several different types of desserts, "Want anything?" He asked of Anka who nodded and gave her own thoughts on dessert.
After the meal the pair sat and chatted for several long minutes before the waitress at last brought the check, "Its been a pleasure having you both here tonight." She said as she left them.
"Alright, your portion of the tab is $204." Zackary said as he glanced at the reciept.
"W-what?" Anka gaped in shock.
"We're splitting the bill 50/50." Zackary clarified, "It is $408 total, which means I need $204 from you."
"N-no way! The food I ordered... should've only come to $32 and change." Anka found her voice after a moment, "There's no way I miscalculated by that much..."
Zackary flashed the reciept in her face, showing the lengthy list of proportions from both of their orders, "$204, Anka." He said flatly, holding out his hand.
"You're splitting the bill with me... and making me pay for the food that you ordered?" Anka questioned faintly, unable to believe that the date that had been going so well would wind up so badly.
"So what did you do?" the magic shop owner asked.
"Oh I called over the waitress and told her that it was two separate checks and left him with a 370-something dollar bill," Anka explained.
"What the?" Nami stared at the woman, "How and when?"
"My new teleporation portal led me here," she shrugged, "and at the beginning of this story."
"Why do none of us notice things?" Nagi asked the group.
"I haven't a clue," Dan shrugged.
Kelly smiled, "Are there anymore stories? I can pop some popcorn."
"No, no." Anka said grimly, "That's the end of the line. I've recounted my worst dates and should anybody want more stories... Don't look at me right now." She stood and stretched, her muscles stiff from having sat for so long.
"Besides, I think we should find a roomier area... Like, say, outside?" Nami suggested mischieviously.
"I could offer up-" As the magic shop owner rummaged in her pockets she was met with a quick, resounding 'no!' from all present.
"No offense... But I don't think any of us is really ready for another magical adventure just yet." Chloe muttered.
"So Nami," Lulu smiled wickedly.
"Hmm?" Nami turned toward Lulu expectantly.
"Why don't you date?" Lulu inquired.